Drawing 1 Assignments

This is my final piece for Assignment 5:

See  the artists statement and development work for my preparatory work for Assignment Five.

Assessment criteria points:

Demonstration of technical and visual skills – materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills (35%). 

My approach to this project allowed me to test my ability to work in a more energetic, relaxed style than is my usual safe approach, using energetic, expressive lines and tonal variation without being afraid of “going outside the lines”.

I worked hard to accurately observe the subject and did a variety of studies to explore composition, media and approach.  I used a variety of media, trying to focus mainly on those that facilitated a looser style.  At the start of the process I did some detailed studies of the lock-gates so I could work from them later on.  The final piece deviated from the strict accuracy of the early sketches; I tried to focus more on creating bold energetic lines, defining shapes and creating depth of tone, than on completely accurate perspective and measurement.

I chose to focus in on the lock-gates and to draw them from close-up, rather than to draw them from a distance with more background and context showing.  This was in part because their structure was what interested me, (this was lost in drawings with a wider perspective), and also because they presented an almost still-life subject from close up- with increased focus on shapes, line, tonal shadows and form.

The final work was on A1 size paper to challenge myself working in large format, and on the image as a whole, rather than as a sum of its parts, without being afraid to leave areas of the paper blank or with minimal detail.  I deliberately did not labour over the railing on the pathway at the top of the drawing, which i think, looking at the final piece, was the right decision.

Quality of outcome – content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas (20%).

I wanted to capture a visual energy in this final drawing to bring the (essentially static) lock-gates to life.  Since my “go-to” style tends to be fairly restrained, detailed and realistic I hoped to be able to “let go” and allow the subject to speak for itself.  I think I achieved this through an absence of details, overlapping lines, gestural lines, marks and blocks of tone.

My thought process was logical because I had freedom to explore the subject in this personal project.  This led to a logical sequence of experiments and approach.  I hope that my intention shines through without being overly laboured.  I wanted to capture the rusty iron, oily chains, overgrown weeds and cracked wooden plinths, and their reflection in the murky canal-water; not only how they looked but also the atmosphere of the place. There is a solemnity and solidity to the structures, which I think I successfully portrayed.

Demonstration of creativity – imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice (25%). 

I tried to use expressive mark-making in this piece, whilst also being sensitive to tonal variation. The lock-gate structure is almost sculptural, so I aimed to create 3-dimensional form through tonal variation, as well as using vigorous marks to depict angles and shapes.  I think there is a part of me for which this is an honest expression- but which is often held back and smothered by a fear of relaxing around the details of what I am trying to draw.

I was pleased that the outcome is definitely much looser than I would normally achieve. I felt this was in part due to the artists’ work I admired, that influenced my approach.  I used a set of large coloured charcoal sticks, which varied in tone, but only within a narrow pallet. I liked the colour variation, which I thought brought the picture to life, compared with other large size drawings I did using just black charcoal.  Charcoal is definitely a good media for me- as it presents me getting bogged down in detail and allows energetic mark-making,  rubbing out and layering of tone.

I think in retrospect that I could have developed deeper tones in this drawing. I struggled to introduce tonal contrast in the middle of the image: in reality the lock wall behind the gates were mid-tone, so I struggled to create tonal contrast.  When I left the spaces between steel plates too light, the picture lost some of its gravity.  Maybe if areas were darker this might have been less of an issue?

I keep asking myself if it matters that there are some inaccuracies and errors in perspective- is a sense of the place lost?  Are the wheel and chain convincing? I didn’t want to get bogged down with the detail of the chain, and hope it still has a weight and solidity.

I heard someone say “if you are not taking risks you are not being creative……and I really tried to apply this sentiment to this assignment by going against my natural grain to explore a new approach.   Basically- to introduce more spontaneity/ fluidity/ energy/ abstraction/ narrative.

Context reflection – research, critical thinking (learning logs and, at second and third level, critical reviews and essays) (20%).

I looked at a number of artist’s work during the development of this project and found a number of artists works who I admired and wanted to influence my final outcome.  I hope that this is evident in the final piece.  I am pleased at how the research informed my approach to the work as it loosened the hold my usual approach would have had over me.

I think my awareness of my style and the direction I would like to develop has also increased during this project and I hope to continue this journey as I move forward.

ASSIGNMENT 5drawing 1Landscapeoca


1. All assignments must be completed on or before the due date.
2. Each day after the due date your grade goes down one letter grade.
3. Unfinished artwork is not accepted.
4. If you are absent, it is your responsibility to make up all work. That includes coming and talking to me, asking for art supplies, and reading the instructions.
5. If you are absent, you are receiving a zero for the studio work for that day because you are not in class to work. It is your responsibility to make up studio time. You can do it after school Monday - Thursday 2:50-3:25 pm.
6. If you project requires extra time to be completed, you have to make arrangements with me prior the due date. This is your responsibility.
7. Even though Art can be subjective, grading your art projects it totally objective: each project has a rubric with specific requirements and guidelines. Just follow them.
8. Unless an assignment specifically requires copying, it will be interpreted in the same manner as plagiarism and is not acceptable.
9. You are graded every day for your studio work. If you are not working the entire class, you will receive a zero for that day.
10. You will also receive a zero if you do not clean up after yourself, clean up early, or unprepared for class.


1. Food, drinks, candy, gum are not allowed in the Art rooms. You will be sent to the office for this. No "warnings". A bottle of WATER is permitted in room 206 (only).
2. Cell phones are not allowed at any time. It is your fault if you use them , even if somebody is calling you. Phones should be turned off and put away. If I see or hear a phone - I take it from you. You will get it back at the end of the day at the office.
3. Be in the room before the bell rings. Dropping your stuff and leaving does not qualify you as being on time.
4. Sit at your assigned seat unless I give you OK to move. That means you do not walk around the room during the class.
5. Talk quietly with students at your table. Do not talk during the instructional time.
6. Draw, paint, etc. on your artwork only!
7. Use materials from your tote-tray only... don't go into other people's trays.
8. You can bring your work home anytime. You are responsible for having it back next day.
9. If you must swear, please do it elsewhere... Thanks.
10. You are responsible for cleaning your work area and the tools that you used. I am not going to do it for you!
11. If you are in the Graphics lab, use the printers for the current ART assignments only!!!
12. Encourage your fellow classmates in a positive way... treat them fairly and nicely. This room should be a fun and comfortable place for everyone.


Essential standards for Art teacher's reference.

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